Chicago Classical Music: Backstage Blog: Musicians in Action

November 09, 2011

It’s been said that musicians should not meddle in politics. It is significantly less dangerous to engage in pure art.” – Gidon Kremer

When musicians step beyond the role of artist and into the role of activist, they bring attention to themselves in a way that almost certainly alienates some part of their audience. Matt Haimovitz supports the Occupy Wall Street movement. Does that impact your decision to listen or not listen to his music? Continue reading

Symphony Now: Occupy Wall Street, Cello Edition

October 20, 2011

This past Saturday, cellist Matt Haimovitz headed down to Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, where the Occupy Wall Street protests against social and economic inequality have been underway since September 17. Once arriving there, he found someone to loan him a 10-gallon plastic bucket, pulled out his 300-year-old Venetian cello and beloved Peccatte bow, sat down on the bucket, and starting playing. As you might expect in the social-media era, the performances ended up getting recorded and uploaded to YouTube, showing Haimovitz surrounded by rapt and chatting bystanders as he performed a Bach sarabande and prelude, as well as his own cello version of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar arrangement of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

The thought of a classical cellist at a sit-in protest Continue reading

The Rest Is Noise: Bach occupies Wall Street

October 17, 201

Matt Haimovitz in Zuccotti Park, Oct. 16, 2011.

Bach takes a less gentle tone in BWV 26, “Ach wie flüchtig”:

To hang one’s heart on earthly treasures
is a seduction of the foolish world.
How easily the devouring passions arise,
how the seething floods roar and tear away
until all is smashed and falls into ruin.

By Alex Ross

View at The Rest Is Noise